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making homemade, gluten-free ravioli at 10 o'clock at night

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19 August 2005

making homemade, gluten-free ravioli at 10 o'clock at night

gluten-free ravioli, originally uploaded by shaunaforce.

Last night, I made homemade, gluten-free ravioli. With a spinach-potato-goat cheese filling no less. And I made it without a pasta machine, a friendly helper, or a clean kitchen.

I have to admit—I’m so proud.

Crazy as I am, I wouldn’t have made this last night without a little prompting. Today is the last day of Scribes at Hugo House, and while it has been an enormous delight, filled with spontaneous laughter and startling writing, it has also been exhausting. I’m ready for long summer days with no plans again. And sleeping in. So I could have used a long evening, a movie to watch, a nap. But not me. Instead, I chose to make homemade ravioli for the first time, make gluten-free pasta for the first time. Why?

Why, it’s a food blog competition, of course. Expect a lot of these from me. How could I resist communing with foodies around the world, all of us making the same dish in the same week?

It’s just that I chose to do this on a night when my kitchen looked as though someone had thrown dishes indiscriminately on the counters, when I had stayed up far too late the night before, working on an important piece of writing, when I had been teaching all day, and I still had a query letter to write.

But first, I had to take a bike ride.

(You have to understand. The light outside was achingly beautiful, and after a full day of teaching, I need to move.)

I gathered the ingredients. Fred Meyer for gluten-free flour (the GFP French bread mix, of course) at $5.29 a pound. Yikes, it’s expensive to have celiac disease. A few new GF products, which I’ll write about another time. A bunch of organic spinach. Yukon gold potatoes. A head of garlic. But unfortunately, Fred Meyer has lousy, pre-packaged cheese. Nothing I would put in my homemade ravioli. So, the shopping wasn’t done. I drove home in crepuscular light, grinning at the thought of cooking again. As the days go by, no matter how fully I am joining the day, there’s always a part of me thinking: “What am I going to cook tonight?”

(I really should find a boyfriend, just for all the food I have to share.)

So I unloaded the bike, the groceries, the bungee cords from the bike rack. Humming as I climbed the stairs, I set out to cook. But the messiness of the kitchen slapped me in the face. (The past few days, I’ve been letting it go, in the face of big writing assignments and all-day teaching gigs.) Twenty minutes of scurrying and flinging dishes in the dishwasher, and I at least had some clean surface to work on.

And then I remembered the cheese. Luckily, I have Ken’s Market across the street. A locally owned grocery store, they have little gourmet items tucked away in interesting corrners. So I grabbed some shredded parmigiano and some soft goat cheese. Now I could start cooking.

Wait, where’s the camera?

I took out the food processor and dumped in the silky-white, gluten-free flour. A little olive oil. Salt. And the eggs....

I'm out of eggs.

Back to Ken’s. Thank goodness I lived across the street from Ken's. And that they stay open until 10. By now, they’re used to seeing me walk in with flour on my shirt and a rushed look on my face.

And finally, I made the ravioli.

It really wasn’t difficult, just time intensive. But from start to finish (once I had all the fricking ingredients in front of me), it took about an hour. It was messy—flour everywhere in the end, including in the glass of water I dunked my finger in to stick the edges of the ravioli together. It was far more work than ten raviolis would seem to warrant. My kitchen is even more cluttered now.

But damn, they were good.

I put the ravioli on a splash of balsamic-port reduction, and topped them with parmigiano and slivers of rosemary. For the filling, I used mashed potatoes with handfuls of fresh spinach, herbed sea salt, goat cheese, parmigiano, and rosemary.

And there’s enough potato filling left over to make some incredible potato pancakes, later today.

Boy, though, I’m going to sleep well tonight.


For the pasta, I found this recipe on Glutenfreeda:

2-1/2 cups gf flour (I used the Gluten-Free Pantry’s French Bread Flour Mix)
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon olive oil
5 eggs
1 egg yolk

* Place GF flour in a food processor. Add salt, oil and eggs. Pulse processor until mixture resembles dough. Remove from the bowl and place on a lightly GF floured surface.

* Knead dough by folding over and turning over and kneading for a few minutes, until the right consistency appears (somewhat like bread dough). If the dough is too dry and crumbly, add remaining egg white. It won't be, though.

* Wrap the dough in plastic wrap or put in a bowl and cover. Allow dough to rest for at least 20 minutes. (This part is KEY to GF flour).

* For the filling (from the Jamie Oliver recipe dispensed on the web, and so I’ll use quotation marks):

“2 pounds all-purpose potatoes
4 cloves garlic, peeled, chopped
4 or 5 good handfuls of spinach (the recipe calls for watercress, but I couldn’t find any)
1/4 cup butter
10 - 12 oz. cheese, extra for garnish
Grated nutmeg, to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

“Wash and peel the potatoes, put them into well-salted, boiling water with the garlic and cook until the potatoes are just tender (it is very important not to under- or overcook them). Drain them and let them sit for about five minutes to enable the excess water to evaporate (if you overcook them or don't drain them correctly they'll be too moist and your filling will be too wet).

When the potatoes have cooled slightly, add your butter and your chosen cheeses. Stir and mash with a fork to mix and break the potatoes up (I like to leave the mixture slightly chunky). Add the nutmeg and seasoning to taste. Stir in the spinach.”

* From here, the recipe calls for particular actions with the pasta machine. But since I don’t own one (yet), I simply rolled out the dough like a pie dough—carefully—then cut it with the ravioli cutter I bought at Sur La Table on Sunday. The recipe called for us to put some filling on one side of the ravioli dough, then fold it over, but that didn’t look like ravioli to me. So I put some filling in the middle, then placed another one on top. (Dab a little water on the inside portion of the ravioli to make them stick together.)

* Cook the ravioli a few at a time in boiling, salted water. Cook for about one minute, or until the ravioli begin to float on the surface of the water.

* Drain the ravioli with a slotted spoon and put it on a pretty plate. Cover with more olive oil, some shredded cheese, pine nuts, or whatever you would like.


At 8:24 AM, Blogger Rachael Narins said...


A. I worship you for using the word "crepuscular."

B. That looks amazing. Great photo. I am so thrilled you were able to do that without gluten. Seriously cool.

C. Hilarious post.

D. Thank you so much for joining in, I'm all kinds of thrilled people took the time, and you had an extra step, so I award you a huge gold star for your efforts. :-) And the bonus was it tasted good! Sensational!


At 3:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was about to comment about how cool the crepuscular usage was, but I guess I got beaten to it.

Thanks for the pictures! I really like the one of the chilis, and the pictures of eliot bay are gorgeous.

Oh gosh, good goat cheese and spinach together can be unbeatable... yummmmmm. That picture looks even better at a bigger size.

See you tuesday!

At 7:15 AM, Blogger Ruth Daniels said...

You should be proud - it looks spectacular.

I love your writing style. Thanks for sharing the blow-by-blow. I'm so tired now, I think I'll take a nap.

At 9:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Shauna!
I was just feeling sorry for myself...'How can I possibly make homemade ravioli with GF.." and then you came with this blog!...I am off to try it...maybe an old school italian filling...the one I grew up with..prosciutto,mortadella, ricotta etc...Yeahhh..great pix!
Carole (Monica's mom)

At 11:41 PM, Blogger Shauna said...


Thank you, thank you for hosting. This was a blast. And I like anyone who likes crepuscular usage!


Same at you, guy.


I know. It was a hilarious adventure. But strangely, I was energized by it.


I'm so glad I could inspire you. My god, you the fantastic cook, taking pointers from me? Let's have some of your ravioli soon.


I just LOVE the new photographs.

At 10:12 AM, Blogger Neal Dooley said...

Oh man my stomach is crying out for GF pasta right now! I have DH (another gluten sensitivity) and have been contemplating rice flour noodle variants... My first attempt at 'spaguetti' looked like giant fragile french fries:-(

It is always crepuscular in Seattle... he he

At 7:26 AM, Blogger RememberSculpture said...

Thanks for answering my prayer for a gluten free ravioli recipe. Yours sounds fabulous, in no small part due to your expressive writing. I will try it immediately! I'd also suggest doing your ravioli St. Louis style - toasted. Prepare the recipe right up to the boiling part. Instead of boiling, dip the pasta in an egg beaten with a bit of water, then coat them with GF bread crumbs (seasoned to taste). Bake them on a lightly greased baking sheet till crispy brown - if some filling bubbles out you know they are ready. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and dip in your favorite marinara sauce. Enjoy!

At 2:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Gluten Free Girl! I have been G/F off and on my whole life, and officially G/F since June 2007. I tried your ravioli recipe and although yummy, mine did turn out a little bland. I added some fresh black peppe and basil to the second batch, and a little more salt- and they were superb!

Keep up the good work with your blog- it gives me hope on this new G/F life.

At 7:46 PM, Blogger connie said...

Thank you so much for your recipe! My 2 year old can not have any gluten and the thing we all miss the most is ravioli. :) I can't wait to try these!

At 6:38 AM, Blogger Mona Lisa said...

Thank you

For my filling I put a small jar of ricotta with two eggs three slices cooked bacon cut up a tiny bit of sage and a little basil....


At 6:32 AM, Blogger kari said...

great to find your site - we have been eating different dinners than our kids because our son needs gluten free = with recipes like this we can eat as a family again - THANKS! - sounds like you are in SEattle? - Kens? am I correct?

At 1:18 PM, Blogger Kate said...

Thank you so much for this recipe. I am getting pretty good at regular pasta but have never tried gluten-free. I am going to make this for my mom tonight (she has CD). So excited, wasn't sure it was even possible until I googled it (making gf pasta at home that is)!

At 9:05 PM, Blogger Jen said...

Did you really write this 5 years ago? Because we just found out about my son's wheat-egg-milk-corn-peanut-soy, etc. etc. allergies . . . so I searched for "homemade pasta gluten free" and found you! Now if you'll only answer a question ;-)

If you had to make this recipe without egg (be thankful you don't have to), what would you use instead? I'm wondering if I should try it with some chia seeds . . . or flax meal . . .

And if you don't answer, I still love your blog, and thank you for all of your recipes - they're making a difference for us!

At 4:43 PM, Blogger Allison said...

Can I make the ravioli dough in advance and refrigerate for 8-10 hours or is it best to refrigerate the dough for less time?


At 9:48 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

can one use pre packaged gluten free lasagnia sheets instead and boil them and cut them afterwards into ravioli squares, fill them and then how do you get the edges to stick and not let the filling fall out and then do you re-boil them?


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